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NHL 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers TV schedule – NBCSports.com

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10-Plus Hours of Game Coverage Every Day August 1-5 Beginning at Noon ET

Saturday NHL Doubleheader on August 1 on NBC – Blackhawks-Oilers at 3 p.m. ET, Followed by Canadiens-Penguins at 8 p.m. ET

Coverage of More Than 25 NHL Games on NBCSN in Seven-Day Span

Coverage of Four Exhibition Games Begins July 28 on NBCSN

NBC Sports will present up to 120 hours of coverage from the NHL’s 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers on NBC, NBCSN and USA Network beginning August 1.

Beginning Saturday, August 1, through Wednesday, August 5, NBC Sports will present coverage from at least four games each day across NBC, NBCSN and USA Network, including some games that will be joined in progress.

Coverage on Saturday, August 1, will feature a doubleheader on NBC beginning at 3 p.m. ET, when Connor McDavid and the Oilers face Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks. Primetime coverage at 8 p.m. ET on NBC will feature Sidney Crosby and the Penguins against Carey Price and the Canadiens.

The 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers begin August 1 at Noon ET on NBCSN, when Artemi Panarin and the Rangers face Sebastian Aho and the Hurricanes. In total, more than 25 NHL games will be shown on NBCSN in a seven-day span.

Qualifying Round series are best-of-five and will be contested between the teams seeded 5th through 12th in each conference. The winners of those series will join the top four teams from each conference, who will play round robin games to determine seeding, in the traditional 16-team Stanley Cup Playoffs format.

Games airing on NBC are exclusive. All games on NBCSN and USA Network will be blacked out in the local markets as they will be available on viewers’ local RSNs. Blackout rules apply to streaming coverage on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Some games will be joined in progress.

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

Following is NBC Sports’ telecast schedule for the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers through August 5:

Sat., August 1
Game 1 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers – NBCSN – 12 p.m. ET
Game 1 – Chicago vs. Edmonton – NBC – 3 p.m ET
Game 1 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders – NBCSN – 4 pm. ET
Game 1 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh – NBC – 8 p.m. ET
Game 1 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary – NBCSN – 10:30 p.m. ET

Sun., August 2
Game 1 – Arizona vs. Nashville – USA Network – 2 p.m. ET
Round Robin – Boston vs. Philadelphia – NBC – 3 p.m. ET
Round Robin – St. Louis vs. Colorado – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET
Game 1 – Columbus vs. Toronto – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET
Game 1 – Minnesota vs. Vancouver – NBCSN – 10:30 p.m. ET

Mon., August 3
Game 2 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers – NBCSN – 12 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary – NBCSN – 2:30 p.m. ET
Round Robin – Washington vs. Tampa Bay – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET
Round Robin – Dallas vs. Vegas – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Chicago vs. Edmonton – NBCSN – 10:30 p.m. ET

Tues., August 4
Game 2 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders – NBCSN – 12 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Arizona vs. Nashville – NBCSN – 2:30 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Columbus vs. Toronto – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET
Game 2 – Minnesota vs. Vancouver – USA Network – 10:30 p.m. ET

Wed., August 5
Game 3 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders – NBCSN – 12 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Arizona vs. Nashville – NBCSN – 2:30 p.m. ET
Round Robin – Tampa Bay vs. Boston – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET
Round Robin – Colorado vs. Dallas – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET
Game 3 – Chicago vs. Edmonton – NBCSN – 10:30 p.m. ET

In addition, NBC Sports will present coverage of the following exhibition games on NBCSN on July 28 and 29:

Tues., July 28
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET

Wed., July 29
Carolina vs. Washington – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET
Chicago vs. St. Louis – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET
N.Y. Rangers vs. N.Y. Islanders – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET

MORE:
NHL, NHLPA ratify CBA, return to play agreement
A look at the Eastern Conference matchups
Final standings for 2019-20 NHL season, NHL draft lottery results
A look at the Western Conference matchups

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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Blue Jackets’ Dubois won’t be disciplined for Muzzin cross-check – Sportsnet.ca

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Columbus Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois won’t see any supplementary discipline for his cross-check against Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin on Tuesday.

With less than two minutes remaining in Tuesday’s matchup, Dubois shoved Muzzin behind the net, causing Muzzin to fall awkwardly and collide with Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand, appearing to hit his head on Bjorkstrand’s leg.

Muzzin remained down on the ice for several minutes before being stretchered off and taken to a Toronto hospital. The team announced Wednesday that the rearguard was discharged overnight and is back at the team’s hotel inside the NHL bubble as he recovers and quarantines, and has been ruled out for the remainder of the qualifying series.

Dubois was not penalized on the ice at the time of the incident, with league officials later ruling it as “a freak play that had a terrible outcome.”

The five-game series is now tied 1-1, with Game 3 set for Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET.

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Winners and Losers from Game 2: Morgan Rielly is having an elite playoffs – Pension Plan Puppets

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The Toronto Maple Leafs scored a goal! They won a game! The clouds have parted over the GTA and anything is possible now. Let’s look back at Toronto’s 3-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in game two of their best-of-five series.

When it comes to evaluating the winners and losers from each game, it’s pretty much just arbitrary from me. I’ll incorporate some stats and narratives relevant to the series, but it’s mostly based on how I felt during the game. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Winners

Auston Matthews

The man of the hour, the one that broke the goose-egg, after five grueling periods against the Blue Jackets, of course it was Auston Matthews who got the Leafs off the line. This goal was several scoring chances in the making, the Matthews and Tavares lines were utterly relentless throughout the game and Matthews was the first to be rewarded after tipping in Zach Hyman’s leading pass to him.

It wasn’t an especially creative goal or one that took something special to go in. This was the result of volume. Surely at some point the puck was going to find a speed, direction, and angle that beat Joonas Korpisalo. While for much of the second period Leafs fans were dejected into believing Korpisalo was going for a second shutout — I think Arvind even described Korpisalo as having horseshoes up his ass on the latest B2E Podcast — eventually something was going to go in and it just happened to be this shot.

John Tavares

The numbers say it all for Mr. T. Captain John? John Blue? Mr. T.

At 5v5, five shots, seven shot attempts, six scoring chances, 0.51 expected goals. All top of the charts for the Leafs (both teams, actually).

Across all situations, JT put eight shots on net and had an expected goals of 1.21, a performance he matched only once this season in a game against the Flyers in early December where he also found 0.7 expected goals on the power play. Relative to playoff performances, this wasn’t even Tavares’ best performance in a Leaf uniform. He generated 1.32 expected goals in Game 1 against the Bruins last year on six shots. He scored once in the 4-1 win.

It was agonizing watching Tavares during the game, because we all knew in our hearts that he deserved a game and that it would be an utter tragedy if he didn’t get rewarded for his amazing effort all afternoon. So glad he got the goal, he was determined to get it one way or another. Did anyone else have their jaw drop when they realized there was no one in front of Tavares but the goalie? I was not expecting it at all.

Morgan Rielly

The Leafs would not have won this game without the efforts of Morgan Rielly on several occasions. Among the players who did absolutely everything it took with a preschool supporting cast around him, Rielly was at the top of the list for both teams.

He dragged the second power play unit into the offensive zone and was even found behind the net a few times trying to create some offense while the top unit was on the bench resting up. He was much more active in the defensive zone than in Game 1, which is saying a lot. He was hard on the puck, diving to make plays in front of and behind Frederik Andersen. And then he scored the empty-net goal to seal it! Rielly really deserves every bit of credit you can give him and more.

By the numbers, Rielly led the Leafs in 5v5 minutes (15:52) and all-situations minutes (24:37), was a 61% shot share, 62% expected goals, and 67% of the scoring chances when he was on the ice. Including the Montreal game, Rielly has two goals and four points in his last three games.

All throughout the game you could see the effort Rielly was putting into his shifts and everything he was trying to keep the pressure on the Blue Jackets and give the Leafs good chances. It was heartbreaking to see him on the second power play unit because with all due respect to Jason Spezza and Nick Robertson, he deserves to be on the top unit. I don’t know if it’s politics or that we’ll realize Barrie is completely useless if he’s not on the top unit, but Rielly has earned that role on merit.

In summary, when the Leafs are full-send, Morgan Rielly is probably their best defenseman.

Frederik Andersen

Got the shutout! What more can we say? He had one job and he bloody did it perfectly. Four high-danger shots, 10 medium-danger shots, and six low-danger shots, all saved.

Losers

Nick Foligno

Two penalties and the worst Corsi in the game (28%) isn’t what you’d expect from the defensive specialist captain of the Blue Jackets. Foligno had an awful night. The only player with a worse expected goals than his 17% was linemate Alexander Wennberg who sports an impressive 8%. Big “L” for Foligno, who I felt embodied the Blue Jackets in this game; overwhelmed and easily exposed when they had to push.

The Leafs Power Play

The power play went 0/5 in this game, and while Tavares and Nylander really led the way with some high-value chances, they still need to find a way to break through. Get the puck low and stop pissing around with shots from the edges. Tavares can do it, Nylander can do it, Matthews can do it. Get the puck to them and see if skilled chaos reigns. Oh, and don’t let Tyson Barrie shoot. Or just put Rielly back there. Please.

Mike Milbury

With Don Cherry finally run out of town, Mike Milbury currently holds the trophy for biggest loser in the NHL. Congratulations.

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Sportsnet: Maple Leafs tie series, but Jake Muzzin’s health more important – 680 News

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In a moment like that you think only of the father, the son, the husband and the friend.

The quietest Stanley Cup Playoffs in history fell silent in those 10 minutes from the moment Jake Muzzin fell awkwardly to the ice until he was removed on a stretcher. You could hear absolutely everything inside an empty building, including medical personnel that were able to communicate with an alert Muzzin while instructing him to lie back and remain still.

Then there was the clank of sticks on the ice and boards from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, who still had nearly two minutes to run off in a 3-0 Toronto victory on Tuesday afternoon that squared up their qualifying round series.

“It was nice to close it out for him,” said captain John Tavares, who delivered his most memorable performance yet as a Leaf. “But certainly tough to see, especially just how much we love that guy.”

Muzzin is an easy guy to love. There’s an unassuming quality to the way he goes about his business that turned him into a dressing room favourite almost immediately after arriving via trade with Los Angeles in January 2019.

And until there’s a more definitive word on his condition — Muzzin was alert and moving all limbs while being transported to hospital, according to the Leafs — it’s difficult to put the situation in proper perspective.

He was injured on an awkward play. Muzzin was skating behind the net when he got cross-checked by Pierre-Luc Dubois and crashed head-first into Oliver Bjorkstrand. The veteran defenceman initially tried to stand up, but never got back on his skates.

The delay in getting the stretcher out to the far corner of Scotiabank Arena and loading Muzzin on to the spinal board gave everyone a little too much time to think.

“I was beside him there when he did go down and stayed down,” said Leafs forward Mitch Marner, a good friend. “Obviously it’s a little worrisome when you see the stretcher come out, you know a lot of things run through your mind.”

There was certainly a pall cast over a performance the Leafs had good reason to be proud of. They were smothered in Game 1 by Columbus and delivered on their objective to create better opportunities in the offensive zone, controlling more than 60 per cent of even-strength shot attempts and eventually breaking through Joonas Korpisalo’s brilliance in net.

Even if the scary nature of Muzzin’s exit turns out to be precautionary, the Leafs may need to finish this series against the Blue Jackets without him lining up on their matchup pairing with Justin Holl.

Games 3 and 4 go Thursday-Friday and a series-deciding Game 5 would be played Sunday, if necessary.

We are still getting a feel for how things work in this rapidly unfolding playoff tournament. Muzzin had to be removed from the NHL’s secure zone to go to hospital and it’s unclear exactly what kind of quarantine, if any, he’d face in the event he’s able to return inside the Toronto hub.

Protocol dictates that the NHL Event Medical Director has final say on that, although a source suggested that public health authorities would ultimately make the call based on how long he was gone, where he went and how much coronavirus risk he was exposed to.

Playing without Muzzin would rob Toronto of its safest 5-on-5 defensive option and a key penalty killer, not to mention a steadying presence in an emotional time. He’s one of two players in the dressing room already in possession of a Stanley Cup ring and has quietly taken on a leading role behind the scenes, organizing a team trip to a Buffalo Bills game, for example, at the end of training camp.

The 31-year-old was initially unsure about his move to Toronto — “I was living in a hotel with three dogs and a pregnant wife,” he said earlier this year. “Yeah, there was a lot of s— going on” — but wound up signing a $22.5-million, four-year extension with the Leafs back in February rather than pursuing free agency.

He’s started making a home here. And he spoke during the COVID-19 pause about the silver lining of spending more time with one-year-old daughter Luna and wife, Courtney, which is the kind of thing you remember when they bring the stretcher out in an empty arena.

“There’s a lot of bigger things than hockey, especially outside this world,” said Leafs forward Mitch Marner. “His family’s definitely a major priority and you’ve got to make sure you’re able to play with your kids.”

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